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League Rd 9 Review
Bradford Bulls snatched a last minute victory against local rivals Leeds Rhinos at a packed Headingley Carnegie Stadium. The Bulls opened the scoring when Stanley Gene bulldozed his way over the line. A Gareth Ellis try levelled the scores for the Rhinos. In a pulsating first half, the teams went into the sheds 6 points apiece.
After the break, Leeds took the lead for the first time when live wire scrumhalf Rob Burrow darted over, but Bradford hit back in style with tries from ex-Rhinos? Skipper Iestyn Harris and PNG winger Marcus Bai. The home team then levelled matters with a Richard Mathers try and with only 6 minutes left Rob Burrow edged Leeds in front with a simple penalty goal.
With only 75 seconds left on the clock, the Bulls stunned the home fans when Brett Ferres, on debut, scored in the corner after a sweeping 90-metre move to pinch the competition points from the shell shocked Rhinos.
Harlequins RL 36 (Dorn 2, Purdham, Luisi, Williams, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Leuluai tries, Gafa 4 goals) def Catalans Dragons 14 (Hughes, Murphy, Rudder tries; Rinaldi goal). Att: 3,472.
There was a huge sigh of relief as Harlequins finally broke their home hoodoo to record their first Twickenham Stoop victory over the Catalans Dragons. The home team took just eight minutes to breach the Dragons defence as Zebastian Luisi scored under the posts. Further tries from Rob Purdham, Luke Dorn (2), Thomas Leuluai, Danny Williams and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, saw the Londoners home.
The Dragons tries came from Mark Hughes, Justin Murphy and Sean Rudder.
Hull FC got back to winning ways with hard fought victory over Huddersfield Giants at the Galpharm Stadium. This result will please new coach Peter Sharp who hopefully takes over in the next two weeks.
Having lost an alarming six of their last seven games, the visitors took the lead with two unconverted tries from Sid Domic and flying winger Nathan Blacklock. The Giants bounced back and took a 10-8 half time lead with tries from Martin Aspinwall and Chris Nero.
Hull hit back after the break with a Danny Brough penalty goal and two quick fire tries from Blacklock and Kirk Yeaman. The home team managed to claw their way back with another Aspinwall try, but the Black and Whites wrapped the game up with a Richard Horne try. In the last minute, Aspinwall completed his hat trick, which was scant consolation for the home team.
St Helens piled on the agony for archrivals Wigan with a comfortable victory in the Good Friday derby at a capacity Knowsley Road. The Engage Super League leaders maintained their 100% record to open up a four-point gap at the top and anchor the hapless Warriors to the foot of the table.
With no coach and rock bottom, the Cherry and Whites had no answers to the Saints awesome power. The home team scored eight tries all converted by Jamie Lyon.
The visitors did manage to score two consolation tries. It appears their only way out of their current nightmare is to appoint a new coach sometime this week, with Great Britain and Bradford Bulls supremo Brian Noble the favourite to succeed the departed Ian Millward.
Wakefield edged an exciting 11-try Engage Super League West Yorkshire derby at Belle Vue to leapfrog neighbours Castleford into eighth place in the table. Castleford had a dream start with two tries in the first six minutes but they paid the price for their defensive errors.
The lead changed hands three times in the first half before the visitors crucially leaked two tries in four minutes just before the interval. After the break both teams tightened up their defence, however the Wildcats increased their lead with their fifth try of the game and despite a spirited Tigers performance the home team hung for their second victory in a row.
Salford City Reds 22 (Robinson, Hodgson, Littler, Fitzpatrick tries; Wilshere 3 goals) def Warrington Wolves 6 (Fa'afili try; Noone goal). Att: 10,744.
Salford moved up to joint second in the Engage Super League after an outstanding defensive display to gave them their second victory this season at Warrington?s Halliwell Jones Stadium. The Reds spent most of the second half on the back foot but they continually frustrated the Wolves to claim an early season double over Paul Cullen's side.